Professional sportsmen are special. Special in lots of ways. Physically obviously. Mentally as well.
The latter often not as lauded as the former. Indoor training is challenging me more mentally than physically. It is sometimes difficult enough to drag myself out on a road bike for training, I’m finding the Indoor Trainer harder despite its ease: ease of accessibility, ease of set up, ease of kitting up – shoes and shorts, maybe a jersey if my sister is in the house. That’s it. Good to go in 2 minutes.
What’s the problem? It’s warm, safe and convenient?
In part, it’s the lack of visual stimulus (nothing beats being outside, riding in the real world) but most of all its static. Done right, the legs burn but distance is only a number on a screen, a sterile statistic. All that effort gets you nowhere.
That’s just life. It could be worse I could be going backwards. Like our World. I’m not talking about world politics (2nd Cold War anyone?), climate control (new Coal Power Stations please), or intolerance (re-rise of the Fascists). Whilst cycling no where I was thinking about riding a bike. In Hull. Recently the Guardian ran an article about Hull in the 1950s being a cycling city.
Now it isn’t. It’s choked by stagnant, stationary traffic. It still has all the raw materials to be a cycling city but its collective mind-set has adopted the car as its mass-transport of choice. There’s little progress.
As I churn out virtual kilometres (hoping to be match fit/ firing on all cylinders in Spring), I consider that being made to slow down, stop, look backwards is part of moving forwards. Stop freewheeling and learn from our past mistakes (1930s Rise of Fascism / 1960s Cold War tensions / 1980s Acid Rain) and ask ourselves: what’s worked before to get us back on track?
Nothing wrong with re-inventing the wheel, especially if there is nothing wrong with the wheel first time round.
Whilst motivation can be hard to find I’m not going to give up on staying put to move forward just yet. When you hear a professional cyclist say “I’ve spent the Winter in the Wind Tunnel” I won’t envy them but I will respect them – constantly looking at ways to go forward, faster, harder, better.